Children & Youth

Catholic Charities believes that every child deserves a promising future.

We show our commitment to youth through programs that support their health, wellness, productivity, leadership development, and education. In the City of Boston and the surrounding area, youth are faced with gang violence, drugs and many complex issues. We help young people address these issues with an informed and rational perspective. We encourage them to stay involved in the communities and our staff lead by example. Our mentoring and tutoring programs help create positive self-esteem, encourage school attachment, and promote the ability to make positive life choices, while teaching youth to interact appropriately with their peers and adults in their lives.

 

Youth programs include:

 T.E.A.M. (Together Engaging Adolescents through Mentoring)
TEAM matches South Boston youth, ages 8 - 16, with caring, adult mentors. The first matches were made in April 1999, and since then nearly 300 matches have been made. Once matched the pair meets once a week for two hours or more. The meetings are set on a week to week basis, depending on the availability of the youth and the mentor. Group activities take place monthly and program staff checks in regularly to provide support. Mentors attend regular meetings for additional training and support throughout the year.

Sunset Point Camp

Sunset Point Camp, located in Hull, serves as a dream “vacation” for 400 children each summer. The camp was a donation to Catholic Charities in 1918 by the Massachusetts State Council of the Knights of Columbus. For many years, the camp was known as the “Children’s Vacation House.” The goal of the camp has always been to provide children from low-income neighborhoods throughout the Greater Boston area and beyond, without regard for their race, nationality, or religious affiliation, a week away from home and the difficulties they endure. They swim in our pool and the ocean, go paddleboating and kayaking, enjoy team-building exercises with their fellow campers and staff, paint and draw in Arts and Crafts, enjoy ice cream socials and treasure night, along with a host of other activities centered around having fun.

Teen Center at St. Peter's
The Teen Center at St. Peter’s serves teens ages 12 to 19 from the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. There are approximately 300 members of the Teen Center annually, with as many as 135 participating in education or recreational activities daily. Through the center, adolescents of the mid-Dorchester corridor are provided with work opportunities, access to various support services, and a safe place for recreation. Work and activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while also increasing self-esteem and enhancing the perception of teens as a positive force in the community.

Youth Mentoring
This program is for Brockton youth whose families are involved with the Department of Children and Families. A youth mentor serves as a role model, getting the youth—ages six to 13—involved in social and community activities, encouraging them to make safe decisions and avoid risky behaviors, boosting their self-esteem, and monitoring their progress at school and at home.

Youth Tutoring Youth (YTY)
The YTY provides a free after-school program to South Boston students. Tutors aged 16 to 19 help younger students in grades 3 through 6 with homework. The program provides a safe place for these at-risk youth to spend after school hours while instilling a sense of belonging and fostering a heightened level of academic achievement. A summer session provides students with remedial and academic skills-sustaining instruction, ensuring that they are prepared to return to school in the fall.

If you would like to support our youth programs at Catholic Charities, you will be helping young adults in your community find opportunity and a promising future.